Gordon House

About Artist: Many of the works made during his last years by the painter and graphic designer Gordon House, who has died aged 71, referred back to his birthplace in the Swansea valley. He spent his earliest years in the steel town of Pontardawe. In Tin-pan Valley, the memoir he published earlier this year, he recalled "the clamour of steel mills ... the tinplate works and pithead gear" and "dynamite blasting as coal seams were struck higher up the valley". No doubt that world of practicalities influenced his graphic design. Once, having produced an entirely original design for the contents of a catalogue for a large Arts Council exhibition, he was told that there was no money available for anything but a few words on the front cover. He reacted calmly by saying that he would, therefore, do a beautiful white cover - and he did. He once described his design work for the Arts Council of Great Britain "as a public service".

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